2011 NFL Draft: The Denver Broncos Need Defense in the 2nd Round

Rob GregoryCorrespondent IIApril 10, 2011

ENGLEWOOD, CO - JANUARY 14:  Denver Broncos head coach John Fox talks to the media following a press conference at Dove Valley on January 14, 2011 in Englewood, Colorado. Fox was named the 14th head coach in Broncos history yesterday after spending the last nine seasons as head coach of the Carolina Panthers. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

There has been plenty of discussion related to what the Denver Broncos should do with the second overall pick in the draft, but what about the two picks they have in the second round?

Barring any trades, the Broncos will have the 36th and 46th overall picks, and because of the glut of talent that should still be available by the second round, these two selections may be even more crucial than their first selection.

Kyle Rudolph, one of the more complete tight ends in this year’s draft, could be an option. But could the Broncos instead go with a running back if Mikel LeShoure is still available at selection 36? Hopefully not.

As much as I like the idea of drafting a new explosive weapon for this Broncos offense, I still find the idea, well, offensive.

With one failed vision out the door, the Broncos find themselves starting over on defense yet again. And while Denver has to start over on D, divisional rivals like Oakland and Kansas City have been busy stockpiling young, exciting defensive players over the last few years.  

If the season were to start now—let's pretend for a second that the lockout magically ended—Mitch Unrein would be a starter on the defensive line for Denver. That is not going to work. The Broncos should look at drafting these guys in the second round.


With the 36th pick in the draft and with Patrick Peterson already drafted to the team, Denver should select...

Stephen Paea, a defensive tackle out of Oregon.

Why? In this scenario the Broncos went with a cornerback in the first round, so they can still get that mean, disruptive, powerful force to help defend against the run and get some pressure on the quarterback.

They say that Marcell Dareus is a very safe pick because of all the high scores he gets for skills, work ethic, ability, etc., but we can say many of the same things for Paea.

Sure, Paea may not last this long in the draft. He is an absolute talent that could make a defense instantly better, but it's still possible. It turns out that while this year’s draft is void of the mega-names like Ndamukong Suh and Sam Bradford, it may end up being one of the best recent drafts in terms of depth of talent.

With all the available talent, especially on the defensive side of the ball, it wouldn't be too shocking if someone like Paea fell to the Broncos.


With the 46th pick in the draft, Denver should select...

At one point I wrote that I like Rahim Moore, the safety out of UCLA, enough to hope that the Broncos select him in the second round. But there are concerns out there that he is not big and physical enough to be effective in run support.

The Broncos need play-makers, and Moore seems to be one, but there is still too much risk with Moore. Instead, the Broncos might again look to add someone along the defensive line and try to find the best value.

Again, the Broncos do not just need one defensive tackle, they could certainly use two.

Marvin Austin out of North Carolina would be a great selection for the Broncos. Austin may fall this far, despite having a great showing leading up to the draft, simply because of the fact that he missed the 2010 season and also because there is so much talent at this position that a player like Austin can get pushed back.

Austin would be a steal. He is quick, powerful, and reliable against the run and the pass, and he has enough versatility that he could fit perfectly in John Fox’s system.  


With the 36th pick in the draft and with Marcell Dareus already a Bronco, Denver should select...

Stephen Paea. Again, I really like the idea of Denver going DT with two of their first three picks. There should be a lot of value in the second round, so if Paea is taken, then why not go with Austin?

Getting two of the top five or six best defensive tackles in this year’s draft would be a wonderful start to rebuilding that defense. No question.


With the 46th pick, and with Dareus and Paea already Broncos, the Broncos should take...

Greg Jones, linebacker out of Michigan State.

On paper, his numbers won’t jump out at you, but if you watch how he plays on the field, you might realize why this guy is truly a sleeper. He is an outstanding run-stopper, a fierce defender who can really get after the quarterback, and he would likely help give the Broncos a new identity on defense because of his rugged and relentless style of play.

I can see him disrupting plays the same way someone like Clay Matthews does. On the other hand, he does not have amazing speed, and he may need to work on his pass-coverage skills. Still, Jones would be an excellent choice and could really help the Broncos run-defense.

Well, at least that is what I think the Broncos should do in the second round. What does everyone else think?